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A Good Basic Skin Care Routine

A Good Basic Skin Care Routine

A good skin care routine is the most important step in ensuring healthy, beautiful skin.  There are so many people and companies giving advice on what is necessary to maintain good skin that it is difficult to separate fact from marketing hype.  The three most important home care products for a basic good skin care routine are a facial cleanser, moisturizer and sunscreen with ingredients specific to your skin type.  In addition to that, there are many very beneficial products that if you have a specific skin care concern, you will want to add them to your skin care routine.  In this article I will talk about the basics, and in future articles I’ll go over why you would want to add more products into your skin care routine.

Facial Wash

A good facial wash is the first step in your skin care routine.  Everyone needs to wash their face both morning and night.  The morning cleanse is important to remove oils and debris that the body has eliminated while in repair mode while sleeping.  It also removes the products that you applied in the evening so that the skin can have a fresh start in the morning and products don’t have to fight their way through a buildup.  The evening cleanse is so important because it removes products, makeup, sweat and toxins that you have been subjected to all day long.  It also preps your skin for any night time products that are being applied.  Without clean skin, oil and debris can become trapped in pores causing acne, enlarged pores and skin irritations.

Apply your cleanser to the skin with some water.  Massage it into the skin for a minute and then wash it off with a  wash cloth. The wash cloth will aid in removing debris and give a very gentle exfoliation to the skin.  You do not want to use hot or cold water on the skin.  Room temperature to mildly warm is the right target.  With extreme temperatures you run the risk of breaking capillaries.

Many people ask if they should use a makeup remover.  If you are using a mild cleanser for normal to dry skin, probably not.  It should be gentle enough to remove eye makeup.  If you are using an acne or oily cleanser, either remove your eye makeup with water or makeup remover.  If your cleanser stings your eyes, don’t use it to remove eye makeup.


The second step in a basic skin care routine is moisturizer.  Every skin type needs a moisturizer, even oily skin.  A moisturizer’s job is to hydrate the skin.  If dry skin is not hydrated, the results are obvious – lines and wrinkles are exaggerated, flakiness occurs and the skin looks drawn and tight.  Without adequate hydration, oily skin will actually produce more oil.  When the surface of the skin lacks hydration, a signal is sent to produce more oil, creating a viscous oil cycle.  The difference between moisturizer for dry skin and oily skin is in the amount and type of oil used in the products.  You are really looking for water retention in the skin, not oil.

You should be looking for a moisturizer that sinks into the skin.  A few minutes after application your skin should feel moist, but not sticky.  And, once makeup is applied, you should not have a shiny look to your skin.   One thing you want to question is a moisturizer that promises to do everything.  Concentration of key ingredients will not generally be at a level where correction can occur in a moisturizer.


The third step in a basic skin care routine is sunscreen.  By now, everyone should know the importance of sunscreen, even on a cold cloudy day.  UVA rays, which are the rays that cause aging, are just as strong in December as they are in July.  They can penetrate through clouds, windows, and eventually your skin.  Sunscreen can be incorporated into a daytime moisturizer, makeup or individually applied.  Sunscreen in moisturizer or makeup is generally adequate if you are not out in direct sunlight, but a separate sunscreen should be used when participating in outdoor activities.  I recommend one with physical blocks of zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.  Wear sunscreen!

Remember, this is a basic skin care routine.  In future articles I will discuss how toners, serums, scrubs, eye creams and masks can address specific skin care concerns.


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